Sunday, January 28, 2007

Little Miss Marley

Meet the newest member of our family, Marley!

She is about 3 months old and a happy little gal, she will be my new studio mate and everyday companion. We rescued her yesterday and so far she likes to play and get really muddy, chew on stuff and cuddle. She plays hard, then sleeps. Last nite was a little weird because I had to keep getting up to turn up the kiln. This little girl is the best, she was so well behaved. She even slept in with me today : ) We are puppy proofing the house, we didn't realize how much would interest her and have quite a bit to put away. She will help us keep the house tidy- especially if we don't want little puppy teeth marks in everything!

Happy sunday, here's to a long and healthy life together.

Friday, January 26, 2007

indieshopping & friends

Welcome to everyone who found their way here from indieshopping! And Thank You to Annissa for featuring me! What a nice way to start a Friday! For those who would like to read the interview - here's the link. And be sure to check out the entire indieshopping site for interviews with other designers and the best of independent design.

Studio News! Good things are coming! The kiln is on now, started late last nite & tended to all through the nite. So being the very sleepy girl that I am, today will be a day to clean up and get ready to unload the kiln, glaze and final fire. Be sure to check back here, I think by Tuesday I will be ready to reveal my newest design and show off my newest form - dinner plates! As with all of my work it is hand carved and these plates, while lovely for everyday use, will also spruce up your walls. Today is Steve's birthday so this evening, at his request, we will have a quiet celebration. We have to get up early tomorrow, hopefully more on that very soon!

My Friends! They are such an inspiration to me, not only are they great people, they do some amazing things. My dear friends Sue and Tom, packed up everything last month to move from our little corner of Pennsylvania to their new home in the middle of New York state! Although I miss them, I couldn't be more happy for them!! They are both very talented and have recently launched their own websites! Tom is an avid collector and gatherer, his site RetroEclectica suits him perfectly! Make sure to visit often as he is just getting started and has some really cool and hard to find stuff! Sue is an amazing quilt and art doll creator. Sue was the best sewer in high school and all these years later she is still sewing up a storm(ok, we're not that old but, we're not fresh out of school either!). Her new website MishMoshArt is filled with her creations, two of which are pictured below. I'm a huge fan of everything she makes and can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Her feel for combining materials is truly unique. Take a close look, her work is quite intricate with beaded details.

Monday, January 22, 2007

good monday

It's been a very good monday. Production is in full swing in the studio, all items should be in stock and ready to ship by February 1st. Tea cups are everywhere and now the plates are starting to really amount to something! I am nearly finished two larger orders and feel a bit of creative freedom coming on. I will be posting a few new bowls to the shop in the next few days, they are from my current designs and never made it on the site. I am trying for a mid-February site update with a few new designs and rounding out the offerings for the current ones. I've really settled into a good rotation in the studio so that I am constantly doing something different. Throwing, trimming, carving, glazing... the holidays were a frenzy of making and shipping with very little time for thought, this year I hope it will be different, a little frenzy is ok, but not the kind where I can't sleep!

I've been thinking alot about Louise Bourgeois, she is one of my favorite women artists. She is 95 years old and I believe she is still making art. She is such an inspiration, both her sculptures and drawings have been subjects I revisit over and over. There is something about her work that just draws me in. I am also in awe of her life, to be so motivated and such a force in the art scene, ahhh, someday!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

sunday plates

Since I am nearly out of clay (more will be picked up tomorrow) I decided to start on a new form, plates! I used to love making plates and haven't made them in awhile. Customers always ask so, I have done some custom plates but, the new plates will be for the website. I'd like to expand on the designs I already have and as I introduce the new designs, I'd like to make them available as place settings. Plate, side plate, bowl. Offered a al carte! So today I fiddled around with a few plates to test it out and see. I didn't snap pics yet but, its going very well : ) I started with my Just Friends pattern so I'll have samples available next week - this is the most requested with my Dahlia pattern at a close second. The way orders are shaping up, this week will be one of vase making and a few sushi sets. Then plates! pictures to come...
Have a beautiful Sunday evening.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

an early late start

Heading off to the studio in a few minutes to get to work. I've been up for hours, having gone to the local y on my friends guest pass. We walked the treadmills and then she had to run off to work so I took a toning class! My very first of that sort and it was kindof aerobic too. I kept up, its always surprizing to me when I do things like this because really I'm a yoga girl. I enjoy walking and hiking and some random dancing but nothing too organized. Now I'm home and ready to get to work! Coffee pot on, heat on, music on... I just hope my arms hold up! So, today will be the very first day that I can put one of my new designs into clay, it will be a mix of my current designs on new forms and new, new, new!!! This AM my inspiration is "new" newness to come for the Little Flower site and newness to motivate me : )

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

mobile shanty-style drying rack

Problem solved! Since I was having a winter problem I decided to make it summer in the studio with my snazzy mobile shanty-style drying rack. This baker's rack was a total score at an auction a bunch of years ago. It is often under utilized due to the need to make more shelves for it. But, today I fitted a plastic cover to it and gathered up a pretty good stack of shelves to use, the rest can be made in the very near future. This will protect my gems from the very dry current of clay ruining air that is warming this little potter while she works. And if this isn't enough, I will pull out the humidifier : ) No more throwing caution to the wind, there just isn't time for that. Are you wondering what happened with the clays I tested? They are not white enough. I have 2 more on order and will give them ago but for now, its full steam ahead. I actually have the problem way down, I've been throwing tea cups like crazy to test out different drying styles and the shanty rack seems to be the way to go.

Studio news! Lots of orders were shipped out today and just a few more tomorrow. Basically I am caught up. Some of the orders will go out next week when the next batch of tea pots are done. I can finally start to replenish my stock, my shelves are just about empty. Everything from the last firing came out of the kiln and went right into boxes to ship. Except the tests pieces which were scrutinized and frowned upon. Funny though, the new clays made me love my old clay. To celebrate the winning clay I threw some vases which will be carved and doodled on. More on the doodling soon...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


The kiln is cooling, inside are completed orders that I can pack tonite and ship tomorrow morning and the test results for the new clays. As you can imagine, it is hard to wait. I am getting ready to work in the studio right nowwith plans to, make a batch of tea cups to pass the time, ready boxes for shipping and maybe mop the floor. This year I promised myself I would mop the floor once every week or 2, I am pretty clean considering what goes on! Trimming is the messiest part of my process, with carving being a close second. But really, I am very clean, some pottery studios can be full of dust, that's why I like having my own studio, its really a blessing to my health! So, today is gloomy out and I am fighting the urge to take a nap. So far I have run all my errands for the week (sans buying clay, which will be done tomorrow) organized the office, researched some software i need, and worked on my marketing campaign. January is a time for laying low so I can properly put everything in order. The holidays were crazy and I don't want to scramble to run my business. I decided in late November that January would be a good time to re-do, replenish, and make new.

Monday, January 15, 2007

relying on me

It is a stand still in the studio right now . The kiln is on and I am waiting on the results of all my test pieces for the new clay. I gave my current clay a pep talk in the hopes that it will toughen up. Its such a sensitive clay, I might just do a switch for winter then back to my good old buddy the rest of the year. Today when I was glazing I felt a loyalty to my current clay. I have done so much with it over the years that I am a bit apprehensive to make the change. I liked one of the clays quite a bit but after the bisque firing it came out a bit pinkish. We'll see what it looks like after the final firing. I might build a damp closet to dry my work. The more I read about problems when drying clay, the more I think I should stick it out and solve the issue. I have the cracking down to about 7%. The cracking only occurs when I am drying out my pots - that is why I have such a long lead time on some items. It takes forever to dry everything out. When I try to push it and make things happen quicker then they want to, I get this problem. So, where is the inspiration in this? I find it very inspiring to work through this problem. It is rewarding when I figure things out on my own. I am the only one who knows the conditions I work in so, its 100% up to me.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I've been tending to batches of pots like this all week. It's pretty grey in the studio right now with only little spots of color here and there. Today will be all about color, I am finally done making all my test pieces out of the new clays. Hopefully by sunday, maybe monday I will have a winner! My current clay is still in the running, I changed the way I am handling it and that helped a bit. One of the new clays is a dream to work with so if my glazes like it too, a switch will be made. I am feeling good about getting my orders out next week, and hopefully this switch will allow me to move forward at a quicker pace, which means Little Flower goodness for all in a very timely manner.
Some fun news! Yesterday the lovely Megan from Art Star called to ask me to send a teacup up to Bust Magazine for photographing! I believe it will be in the April/May issue. Pretty exciting! Its great to get calls like that, I also received a pdf file of a feature in a Dutch magazine called NewStyle - I will post that later, I need to updoad it. I have a few other press things coming up that I will share as they come out.
Happy Friday to all, I better get to glazing! And something fun, Miss K is coming to hang and have dinner tonite : )

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

felt and i better get moving

One of my livejournal friends just posted about a book she has coming out and it looks awesome! The book is called: Felted Jewelry: 20 Stylish Designs and the cover is beautiful and oh so inspiring! I am pre-ordering it, I love felt and have a little merino wool somewhere in my crafty stash.

I am glad I sat down to read a few blogs this evening, its just what I needed to get myself moving again. Today has been a challenge, I want to let my pots dry slowly but, I have orders to fill. Ceramics can be a challenge at times, just when you think you can close your eyes and make a zillion pots without any troubles, trouble comes in the form of a crack. No worries though, after the current orders are shipped, I will have time to switch clay bodies. I'm pretty excited to do this and have been wanting to since the summer. No one will notice but me, I just need to use a less sensitive clay. My current clay is a joy to work with on most days, its just not magical. Years ago when I was learning to throw, I came across a white stoneware clay body that had the magic, time passed and I forgot which clay exactly it was. I know the manufacturer and I think I have it narrowed down, so now I just need to test. So, tomorrow will be a very focused studio day, filled with glazing, throwing and dreaming.

Monday, January 8, 2007


This week is a catch-up week for me. The last of the pre-christmas orders are drying out right now and the glazing will begin tomorrow. It has been so humid and warm that things are taking a bit longer than planned to complete. My tired hands thank the weather for this delay : ) It allows me to work at a less frantic pace than I have been these past few months. It also gives me time to sketch and think about what I'd like for Little Flower in 2007. Some of the things I'm dreaming of include a larger studio to make room for an assistant and another kiln to keep up with orders. I'd like to see the website spiffed up and add a press page. I'd like to get into a prestigious craft show, and maybe win an award! I'd like to have a break to take a step back and see where I am. At this time last year I was doing Little Flower in my spare time, working a serious full time job in the corporate world, taking care of my dear Healy (he's been gone nearly a month now - I'm still so sad) being a wife, a yogini, and trying to balance everything. Now, I'm f/t with Little Flower, which is so much more than I ever thought it could be, a wife and a yogini. Its such a relief to be back to the life I was meant to live. I am grateful for my years in the corporate world, I learned so much on so many levels and will take the good and put it to use in my business, and I'm happy to say that I left the bad at the office! I know this year is going to be a good one and I'm looking forward to what each day brings. I am still adjusting to my new schedule and trying to find a new balance in my life. I am re-working my business plan which will be my new years resolution for Little Flower, personally, I'd like to drink less coffee, do more yoga and take more walks. Find time to take up a non-clay craft or venture back to the world of fine art, I used to be quite the sculptor back in the day. Its only 9 days into the new year, lets hope this year is filled only with good. Om Shanti!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

studio sky

This is the sky I see from my studio. If you look close you can see a squirrel nest. There are 2 elements in this picture I find inspiring, the first is the fact that the squirrels can live in such a way, when the storm winds blow that nest is the first thing I look for. This is a huge tree and it is frightening to see it blow around. I hide inside and try to stay away from the windows but, the branches swirling in the wind are just too amazing to not watch. If I could, I would somehow protect those squirrels, I know they live in nature and that they are ok and maybe they take shelter somewhere else when the wind gets too strong but, I still want to take them in. Their strength is an inspiration. The second element is something I look for in all things, the line. I often look at objects and think about how I would draw them, how would I draw this tree and capture all the branches with dimension. How could I put that on a vase or platter? Photo image transfer? no, I have to draw it, carve it, capture it with my own hand. I have plans for this tree and it is one of my favorite things about my house. Living in the suburbs can be inspiring, you just have to open your eyes and find the beauty. One of the things I hope will come across in my work someday is my environment, I'm not a city or country girl. I'm 100% suburban.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


I tend to overstuff my sketch books, I should probably have a box to collect all my ideas. This is one of my current idea books, as I work on my new line it will be a place for me to sketch, make notes, doodle, make lists, and gather bits of paper and nature. This book will be a place I will revisit many times over. I still browse my college sketch books from time to time and , oh my, I was brilliant! haha, that's just to see if anyone is reading. That pink paper is marking a super new idea I have. And if you look closely, there is a ceramic sample from the summer peaking out. That little piece is something I see a zillion times a day in my studio and until this morning, I couldn't figure out what to do with it. If you follow along here, you'll see what becomes of the ingredients in this picture.

Monday, January 1, 2007

A fresh start.

Happy 2007! To make a fresh start this year and to celebrate the freedom I feel in life by running my own business, I am starting a new blog. And this one has a focus!

This blog may seem a bit personal in that I am using it to log the things in life I find inspiring as well as what I am working on in the studio. However, I invite you into my life and creative process as I make a fresh start.

Happy New Year! May it be filled with peace, love and art.
xoxo, Linda